Reggie Bullock

Heat Notes: Adebayo, D. Robinson, Lowry, Offseason, Bullock

Now that Udonis Haslem has retired, Bam Adebayo will take over as the new leader of Heat culture. In an interview with Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, Adebayo discusses his transition into that role, which was endorsed by both Haslem and Dwyane Wade.

“You can’t run from it. The thing about it is it’s not going to be easy,” Adebayo said. “It’s not going to be something that obviously you take for granted. But do I feel like I’m ready? Yes. At this point, I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career in my six years that a lot of dudes haven’t done in their whole career. So being able to one, obviously, have D-Wade in my ear the first year and a half of my career and then having UD all the way through up to this point, it’s prepared me for that role. It’s prepared me for the standard, it’s prepared me for understanding what this looks like and how it’s supposed to be.”

Entering his seventh season in Miami, Adebayo understands the fabric of the organization better than anyone. He’s committed to the same ideas of toughness and physical conditioning that Wade and Haslem emphasized, and he talked about the need to build strong relationships with his teammates so he’ll be able to confront them in difficult times.

Adebayo also looked back on the loss to Denver in the NBA Finals this spring and expressed a hope that it will inspire the team to get back to the Finals.

“I feel like losing should always be a motivation because it’s not only you losing, but it’s a lesson at the end of the day,” he said. “What could we have done better? What could I have done better? What could I have done differently? What can I do this year that I didn’t do last year? There’s stepping stones to that.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Even though Damian Lillard wound up in Milwaukee, trade rumors surrounding the Heat will likely continue, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Winderman notes that the front office tried to move Duncan Robinson‘s contract during the summer and states that the organization considers Kyle Lowry‘s expiring $29.7MM deal to be a trade asset, which is why he wasn’t waived and stretched before the Aug. 31 deadline.
  • The Heat’s luxury tax situation means that anyone with guaranteed money is very likely to make the roster, Winderman adds. Miami has 13 players with fully or partially guaranteed contracts, along with two-way players Jamal Cain, Dru Smith and R.J. Hampton, who may contend for the final roster spot.
  • Winderman writes in a separate piece that the Heat’s failure to add either Lillard or Jrue Holiday in a deal, combined with the fact that their top two rivals in the East just got better by adding the All-Star guards, represents a worst-case scenario for the club.
  • The Heat have “respect” for Reggie Bullock, who reached a buyout with the Spurs on Saturday, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The veteran swingman could provide outside shooting and defense, but Miami will be limited to a veteran’s minimum offer once he clears waivers.

Spurs Buy Out Reggie Bullock

6:23pm: The Spurs announced that Bullock has been waived, McDonald tweets.

4:09pm: The Spurs and veteran swingman Reggie Bullock have reached an agreement on a contract buyout, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Several contending teams are expected to pursue Bullock once he clears waivers, Charania adds.

There’s no word on how much money Bullock gave up in the buyout, but he had one year remaining on his contract at $10.5MM.

There was speculation that Bullock might be competing for a roster spot with Cedi Osman, who was acquired from the Cavaliers during the offseason, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Bullock’s departure seems to increase Osman’s chances of staying with the team, McDonald adds.

San Antonio acquired Bullock in July as part of the three-team deal that sent Grant Williams from Boston to Dallas. The Spurs also received the option to swap first-round picks with the Mavericks in 2030. Because of the trade, Dallas is the only team that won’t be eligible to sign Bullock once he becomes a free agent.

Bullock, 32, spent the past two seasons with Dallas, serving as a part-time starter. His scoring average fell to 7.2 PPG last season, the lowest since 2018/19, but he still shot 38% from three-point range. It’s his ability to stretch defenses that will make him popular on the open market.

The Spurs were Bullock’s seventh team in his 10 NBA seasons. The Clippers made him the 25th overall pick in 2015, but the only place he stayed for more than two years was Detroit.

The move eases the roster crunch for San Antonio, which has 16 players remaining on guaranteed contracts. At least one of them will have to be waived or traded before opening night.

Western Notes: Doncic, Tenzer, Watson, McGee, Len, Spurs

Luka Doncic isn’t doing himself any favors with his constant complaining to the officials, Tim Cato of The Athletic writes. The Mavericks superstar was tossed from Slovenia’s quarterfinal loss to Canada in the FIBA World Cup. Doncic’s technical fouls in the NBA have risen in each of his five seasons. Cato notes. Doncic has publicly acknowledged over the years he needs to pipe down, but his actions haven’t reflected it. He’s a master at drawing contact but complaining about non-calls serves no useful purpose, as Cato writes.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Nuggets’ new G League general manager, Ben Tenzer, believes forward Peyton Watson will blossom in his second NBA season, he told Bennett Durando of the Denver Post. “(He) has all the potential in the world. I think it starts with his defense and his energy,” Tenzer said. “He’s such a unique player with his size and his ability to cover the court. His shot-blocking ability. I think we were able to see it a little bit when he played with the Nuggets toward the end of the season, how good he can be. So I think for him it starts with the defensive side. The offensive side will come because of his natural ability to be able to handle and attack the rim.”
  • Alex Len and JaVale McGee are expected to make the Kings’ opening night roster and compete for backup minutes at center, James Ham of tweets. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering they both have guaranteed contracts. That also means Neemias Queta and Nerlens Noel, who have partially guaranteed deals, will essentially be competing for the final roster spot, assuming Sacramento decides to carry 15 players.
  • The Spurs have 18 players on guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. So who will be the odd men out? The Athletic’s John Hollinger and Kelly Iko explore that, plus other Spurs-related topics. Khem Birch and Charles Bassey appear to be the most vulnerable, according to Hollinger. If San Antonio is unable to deal one of its guards, then either Doug McDermott, Reggie Bullock or Cedi Osman could be bought out.

Texas Notes: Spurs, Payne, Kleber, Holmes

Following the addition of No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama to their roster, the Spurs appear to be taking a long-term approach to their future, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News.

Finger observes that president/head coach Gregg Popovich, general manager Brian Wright, and CEO R.C. Buford opted to not sign a top free agent into cap space or use their significant future draft equity to trade for a veteran star, instead hoping to develop their current youth around Wembanyama and make bigger moves in the future.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Newly acquired Spurs point guard Cameron Payne may not be long for San Antonio, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. McDonald notes that Payne and other new veteran personnel additions Reggie Bullock and Cedi Osman may eventually be offloaded by the team as it looks to build around Wembanyama.
  • Mavericks big man Maxi Kleber has opted out of playing for his native Germany in this summer’s FIBA World Cup, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning writes. In withdrawing from the competition, Kleber noted that it was “100% clear that I am not unreservedly welcome,” which Townsend considers a direct response to comments made by Team Germany point guard Dennis Schröder. Schröder seemed to take umbrage with Kleber not participating in EuroBasket competition in 2022. “Maxi wasn’t there last year,” Schröder said. “If you didn’t commit — that was actually the message for all of us — then you won’t be there next year either.” 
  • New Mavericks big man Richaun Holmes has resolved the lawsuit he filed against the parent company of the Sacramento Bee, writes Sam Stanton of The Bee. Holmes sued McClatchy Co. and Bee columnist Robin Epley for defamation after an op-ed column from Epley detailed damaging accusations from Holmes’ ex-wife Alexis. “We’re pleased the matter has now been resolved and Mr. Holmes is enthusiastic about a new chapter in his life as a father and basketball player,” his attorney Camille Vasquez said in a statement. According to Stanton, McClatchy and The Bee did not make any payment to Holmes as part of the settlement.

Mavs Acquire Grant Williams In Three-Team Sign-And-Trade

JULY 12: The Mavericks, Celtics, and Spurs have put out press releases officially confirming that their three-team deal is official. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Mavericks acquire Williams (via sign-and-trade), the Spurs’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Spurs’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • Spurs acquire Bullock and the right to swap 2030 first-round picks with the Mavericks.
  • Celtics acquire either the Pelicans’ or Bulls’ 2024 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable; from Spurs), the Mavericks’ 2030 second-round pick, and the right to swap the most favorable of the Wizards’, Warriors’, and Pistons’ 2025 second-round picks with the Mavericks’ 2025 second-round pick.

JULY 5: The Mavericks, Celtics and Spurs are finalizing a three-team trade that will send restricted free agent forward Grant Williams to Dallas, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

According to Charania, the Spurs will receive Reggie Bullock and an unprotected 2030 pick swap from the Mavs, while the Celtics will receive multiple second-round picks.

Charania hears Williams will receive a four-year, $54MM contract as part of the transaction, while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has heard (via Twitter) it’s $53MM. The deal is fully guaranteed and does not feature any options, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The Celtics and Mavericks will each receive two second-rounders as part of the trade, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). According to Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe, the Celtics will also receive a 2025 second-round pick swap (Twitter link).

Interestingly, the reported figure Williams will receive is the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which will be worth $53.34MM over four years. However, since the Mavs are acquiring him via sign-and-trade, they will preserve their MLE and still have “strong interest” in using it to sign restricted free agent Matisse Thybulle to an offer sheet, per Marc Stein (Twitter links). Dallas will be hard-capped at the first luxury tax apron due to the sign-and-trade, Stein notes.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks has a detailed list of the cap complications from the deal (via Twitter). The Mavs are approximately $9MM below the first apron, so they’ll have to clear some additional cap space to have access to the full MLE, which starts at $12.4MM in 2023/24.

They could open up an additional $3.4MM — the exact difference between those two figures — by releasing JaVale McGee and using the stretch provision on his contract, Marks adds. Dallas will also generate a $10.5MM trade exception, equivalent to Bullock’s outgoing salary.

The Celtics, meanwhile, will create a $6.2MM trade exception of their own, which is half of Williams’ projected salary. It would have cost Boston $40MM against the luxury tax to pay Williams’ salary, per Marks.

As for the Spurs, they’ll use some of their cap room to accommodate Bullocks’ $10.5MM salary, according to Marks, who notes they’ll have about $12.5MM in space remaining after the deal.

Himmelsbach was the first to point out (via Twitter) that Williams’ contract is right in the ballpark of what he was rumored to be seeking in an extension before the ’22/23 season started. Jared Weiss of The Athletic hears (Twitter link) the Celtics were willing to meet Williams’ asking price in the fall, but only if the deal included incentives.

Williams, 24, just completed his rookie scale contract and hit restricted free agency after four seasons with Boston. He turned himself into a valuable 3-and-D player in recent years, playing an important role in helping the Celtics make the Finals and Eastern Conference finals the past two seasons.

Since the start of ’21/22, Williams averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG on .464/.403/.829 shooting in 156 games (44 starts, 25.1 MPG). His versatile defense was particularly essential in the postseason, and he could be a nice complementary fit next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who aren’t known for their play on that end. It’s also worth noting that Williams is from Houston, about 240 miles from Dallas.

Veteran wing Bullock, 32, is another 3-and-D player who often guards top perimeter players, though his defense slipped a bit last season to my eyes (Bullock’s 116.5 defensive rating was 0.4 worse than the team’s 25th-ranked D at 116.1). He has been a rotation regular over the past two seasons for Dallas and is a career 38.4% shooter from behind the arc.

As Marks noted, paying Williams would have been exorbitantly expensive, but he will be missed. His departure seemed likely after the Celtics acquired Kristaps Porzingis and his $36MM deal in a trade. They’ll reportedly receive some draft compensation to try and recoup some value in the sign-and-trade (they were rumored to be looking for a first-round pick).

Southwest Notes: Bullock, Wembanyama, Grizzlies, Kleber

The sign-and-trade agreement that is sending Reggie Bullock and a 2030 first-round pick swap (via Dallas) to the Spurs could help them both now and in the future, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (subscriber link).

As McDonald writes, Bullock will immediately become the oldest player (32) on the roster, with an opportunity to serve as a veteran mentor while competing for rotation minutes. His $10.5MM expiring contract will also push the Spurs above the salary cap floor, giving them access to the annual tax payment from the league’s biggest spenders.

However, the pick swap could turn out to be the real prize, McDonald notes. No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama theoretically will be in his prime in seven years, which might give San Antonio an edge in terms of having a better record than Dallas in 2030 (and thus the swap conveying).

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Speaking of Wembanyama, the Spurs will be cautious with their franchise player, but that doesn’t mean they have durability concerns about the 7’4″ big man, writes Mark Medina of Sportsnaut. It’s normal for top draft picks to have their minutes limited during Summer League action, as Wembanyama will when he makes his debut on Friday in Las Vegas, Medina notes. People around the league believe the Spurs are focused on Wembanyama’s transition to the NBA being as seamless as possible, which is why they want to limit his workload early on.
  • The Grizzlies‘ playing style won’t change with Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of 2023/24, head coach Taylor Jenkins said on NBA TV. “Our system doesn’t change,” Jenkins said, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “What we emphasize offensively — the pace, the space, the unselfishness — defensively, the discipline nature that we got to have every single night, that’s what we’re going to lean on.” The Grizzlies will also be looking for internal development from Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. to fill Morant’s void, Jenkins added.
  • Maxi Kleber‘s ’22/23 campaign was ravaged by injury, having suffered a torn hamstring in December that required surgery. The Mavericks big man is healthy again now and feels much more like himself, he tells Eddie Sefko of “I’m ready, yeah. That’s what I’ve been preparing for,” Kleber said when asked if he’s ready for an injury-free season. “Last year was obviously frustrating because I was out for so long. And even coming back, I had so many issues. I couldn’t move properly. It’s something you don’t want to have to deal with during the season. So it was good to have this summer actually to recover and do some work.” Kleber also told Sefko he’ll play for Germany in the World Cup next month, his first national team appearance in several years due to various injuries.

Reggie Bullock’s Salary To Be Fully Guaranteed

The Mavericks are keeping Reggie Bullock on their roster past the June 28 deadline for his 2023/24 salary to become fully guaranteed, Marc Stein tweets.

Bullock will earn $10.49MM next season before becoming a free agent in 2024. Dallas could have saved nearly half that amount by releasing him before midnight on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old small forward came to the Mavericks as a free agent in 2021. He averaged 7.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 78 games last season while shooting 38% from three-point range.

“Handshake Deal” For Kyrie Irving In Dallas?

Representatives of rival teams at last week’s NBA Draft Combine expect Kyrie Irving to re-sign with the Mavericks this summer, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Dallas missed the playoffs after acquiring Irving from Brooklyn in a February trade and he often appeared to be an awkward fit alongside Luka Doncic, but sources tell Pincus that the Mavs didn’t trade for Irving as a short-term experiment.

“I hear they had a handshake deal before the trade,” one of Pincus’ sources said. “And Kyrie wouldn’t have said yes to anything less than the max.”

Irving will be eligible for a new five-year contract in Dallas that could be worth $272MM, Pincus adds. Although he was an All-Star this season for the 10th time in his career, off-court incidents in Brooklyn — and Boston and Cleveland before that — may limit the number of teams interested in signing him.

“I’m not sure what the market is for Kyrie, but no one with cap room is giving it to Kyrie,” another source told Pincus. “He comes with too much drama.”

Pincus talked to an agent who expects Irving to receive a four-year deal with a player option on the final season. It would be worth about $201MM in guaranteed money and would line up with Doncic, who can opt out of his current contract in 2026.

In an appearance Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Brian Windhorst suggested that the Lakers shouldn’t be dismissed as a possible Irving suitor (video link). L.A. was reportedly interested in Irving when he considered opting out of his contract last summer and again when he submitted a trade request to the Nets in February.

Windhorst admits the Lakers would have to give up most of the assets they just acquired in order to sign Irving outright, but he says the landscape could be more favorable if Dallas would agree to a sign-and-trade. Regardless, Windhorst added that it helps Irving’s negotiating position if he can convince the Mavericks that L.A. is interested.

Pincus also talked with several sources who expect Dallas to be a potential landing spot for Suns center Deandre Ayton, who shares an agent with Doncic.

“The Suns need depth,” a source told Pincus. “I can see them getting Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale (McGee) back, Josh Green and No. 10 (draft pick). Phoenix would probably flip the pick to another team for depth, or maybe it’d be a big multi-team deal.”

Pincus lists Maxi Kleber, Davis Bertans, Reggie Bullock and Jaden Hardy as other players who might be moved in a hypothetical Ayton trade, but he notes that Kleber is among Doncic’s best friends on the team, which gives Dallas incentive to keep him.

Cavs Notes: Mitchell, Next Season, LeVert, Garland, Wing Upgrades

The Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell to make them a true contender. Mitchell felt personally responsible for the team’s 4-1 series loss to the Knicks, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

“I don’t feel like I was the player I needed to be for this group,” Mitchell said. “That’s what’s gonna keep me up at night. I’ve done it all year. You know what I mean? So I just didn’t deliver like I expected myself to, my teammates and everybody expects me to. And like I said, I take that upon myself, man, like I gotta be better.”

Mitchell averaged 23.2 points — five below his season average — and shot 43.3 percent and 28.9 on 3-point attempts in the series.

We have more on the Cavs:

  • This year’s playoff flop puts immense pressure on the team to get deeper into the postseason next year, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic opines. Even though Mitchell is signed through the 2025/26 season, he can opt out in the summer of 2025. If the Cavs can’t get a long-term commitment from Mitchell after next season, they may need to trade him, Lloyd writes. They also don’t have many assets to upgrade the roster.
  • Caris LeVert is headed to free agency but he “absolutely” wants to re-sign, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. LeVert averaged 18 points in the last four games of the series.
  • Darius Garland learned some lessons during the series, Fedor writes at Garland’s eyes were opened by the different tempo and intensity in the playoffs. “The pace is just so fast, it’s just coming to you really quick,” Garland said. “It’s a lot to process. Go back and watch this film, see what we did wrong. Trying to learn from it as much as I can. It hurts, but we know what it feels like. We know how playoff basketball is. We know the physicality of it. We know the mental aspect of it. It’s going to make us work hard and we’re going to remember this feeling.”
  • How can the Cavs upgrade at the wing? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores that topic in his offseason primer. They could target Josh RichardsonJalen McDaniels or Kelly Oubre with their mid-level exception. They could also try to trade for a forward with the MLE since the new CBA allows it to be used as a trade exception. Potential targets in that case could include Royce O’NealeReggie Bullock or Alec Burks.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Irving, Mavericks, Porter

After getting more discouraging news about Zion Williamson this week, the Pelicans are preparing to face the start of the postseason without him, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin announced that Williamson remains out indefinitely due to a hamstring injury, making him unavailable for the play-in tournament or possibly even a first-round playoff series if New Orleans is able to qualify.

Griffin told reporters on Friday that Williamson has participated in 3-on-3 drills with coaches, but he hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 scrimmages. Griffin also revealed that Williamson hasn’t met some “objective metrics” in the weight room or on the court, and he’s still hesitant sometimes when pushing off with the injured leg.

“We want Z back, for sure. But we can’t put a lot of time and focus into ‘What ifs.’ Right now, this is reality. That’s what we have to look at,” coach Willie Green said. “Over the last 10 games, we’ve been playing extremely well. We have to continue to do that. When that time comes when Z can step on the floor and go, then it’s, ‘Let’s go.’”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • When the Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving in February, he requested that reporters refrain from asking him about free agency until the season was over, notes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Those questions are sure to come on Sunday when Dallas ends a disappointing campaign that fell short of the play-in tournament. Townsend adds that although the Mavs have a 9-17 record since trading for Irving, he hasn’t created any distractions in Dallas after a string of off-the-court incidents with Brooklyn. The biggest question facing the team in the offseason is how much of a commitment to make to Irving, who is eligible for a five-year, $272MM contract with the Mavericks or a four-year, $201.7MM deal with another team.
  • After finding themselves under NBA investigation for resting players Friday night with a play-in spot still within reach, the Mavericks will use a depleted roster again on Sunday, Townsend tweets. Irving, Luka Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr.Josh Green and Maxi Kleber will all sit out the game against the Spurs.
  • Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. will miss Sunday’s game with soreness in his right knee, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. That will leave him at 59 games, one short of the 60 needed to make his games-played bonus for next season considered to be likely. Feigen adds that it won’t affect Porter’s salary (he could still earn the bonus by playing in 60 games next season), but it will open some cap room for Houston to use this offseason. The bonus accounted for $2.38MM of Porter’s cap hit for the 2023/24 season, explains Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).